Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sara Wood

Meet Dr. Sara Wood

Degrees and Experience
  • Ph.D., Counselor Education and Supervision (Regent University)
  • M.A., Community Counseling (Regent University)
  • B.S., Psychology (Gardner-Webb University)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (Virginia)
  • Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (North Carolina)
  • National Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC)
Biography and Professional Achievements

Dr. Sara Wood is a counselor, educator, and consultant in Virginia and North Carolina. As full-time online faculty, her passion is to educate, equip, and empower the next generation of counselors and counselor educators to journey with others toward health and wellness. She specializes in quantitative research and enjoys making it approachable and exciting for counselors as well as consulting on dissertation and research projects to contribute to the body of knowledge for the counseling profession.

Dr. Wood’s research interests include religious/spiritual integration, healthy boundaries, counselor distress/resiliency, program evaluation, and evidence-based practice with individuals and couples. She has published peer-reviewed journal and newsletter articles, presented at national and local conferences and international institutions, served as an associate editor for a peer-reviewed journal, chaired doctoral dissertations, and developed research curriculum as a subject matter expert.

Clinically, she has worked in a variety of settings including crisis hotlines, in-patient psychiatric units, church-based counseling services, and private practice. Currently, she serves as the Director of Research and Residents at the Marriage Center in Chesapeake, VA, providing individual and couples counseling and supervising resident counselors working towards licensure.

Dr. Wood is an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), Association of Counselors Education & Supervision (ACES), the Southern Association of Counselor Education & Supervision (SACES), the Virginia Counselors Association (VCA), and Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society. When she is not working, she loves spending time at the beach with her family, trying new foods, and hiking with her two golden doodles.

Publications and Presentations
  • Wood, S. (Fall, 2017).  Hello Old Friends: Revisiting Research and Statistics as a Counselor Educator. VACES Newsletter, 8.
  • Dwiwardani, C. , Hill, P. C. , Bollinger, R. A. , Marks, L. E. , Steele, J. R. , Doolin, H. N. , & Wood, S. L. (2014). Virtues develop from a secure base: Attachment and resilience as predictors of humility, gratitude, and forgiveness. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42, 83–90.
  • Wood, S., & Shaler, L. (2013).  Anger and betrayal: The emotional toll of pornography. EW Magazine, 5(2), 28-31.
  • Meyer, D., Wood, S.L., & Stanley, B.  (2013).  Nature Versus Nurture: The Intersection between Neurobiology and Systems Theory. The Family Journal. Doi: 10.1177/0123456789123456
  • Wood, S.L. (2011)  A Family Discussion Guide: How to Talk about Pornography.  Real Life Christian Church: Chesapeake, VA.
  • Wood, S. (2010). Working with sexual addictions in couples therapy. In Walz, G., Bleuer, J., & Joncas, J (Eds.). VISTAS 2010. (pp TBA). Alexandria, VA, US; Ann Arbor, MI: American Counseling Association; Counseling Outfitters.
  • Wood, S., King, P., & Wykes, S. (Spring, 2009).  Group: But where are the members? SACES Newsletter, 5(1), 6.
  • Wood, S. (Fall, 2007). Connecting through community in the online classroom. SACES Newsletter, 1(1), 6-7.
Faith and Learning

When I think about faith and learning, I consider how to integrate the two concepts in a variety of ways in the content of my discipline: counseling. First, I utilize prayer individually and as appropriate, in cooperative settings. I believe individually praying over each new course as it is created and/or commences, the students I will encounter, the faculty/staff I will collaborate with, and the university as a whole is an important part of integrating my faith into learning, even if it is behind the scenes. I am also willing to pray in courses, with students, and with anyone who would like to do so to seek the Lord with them and for them. Second, I find that in counseling, the majority of theories, interventions, and clinical components have direct alignment with Biblical truth, and thus, we can explore Biblical alignment in discussions, assignments, and practice. Moreover, there are a variety of great academic resources that directly discuss the integration of the Christian faith in clinical counseling practice, which I value and would want to utilize or at least recommend to complement the clinical content covered in each course. Finally, the integration of faith is a natural extension of my own faith walk, which goes with me regardless of context. Whether I am in the course room or in the community, my faith influences who I am and shapes my character, which allows me to integrate through leading by example: maintaining my own integrity, living out my values of honesty, grace, truth, and compassion, and giving my best in all situations.